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Even if you’ve never played a Mega Man game in your life, you’ve probably heard all about the trials and tribulations of Mighty No. 9. Pitched by Mega Man co-creator Keiji Inafune as a spiritual successor to the classic series, Mighty No. 9 was the recipient of a lot of fan cash (over $4 million) and good will. And then came the delays, lame excuses, and weirdly offensive marketing.
By the time Mighty No. 9 finally limped across the finish line earlier this week, gamers and professional writers alike smelled blood. The memes and reviews have been merciless, but does Mighty No. 9 truly deserve its place on the scrap heap? Did Keiji Inafune just forget how to make a Mega Man game? Let’s find out…
Mighty No. 9 (PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 & Wii U)
If you’re ever played a Mega Man title, you already know Mighty No. 9‘s story. There’s an evil scientist making robots do bad things, but thankfully a nice scientist made a good blue robot who can destroy the bad robots. Hooray! The names have been changed to keep the lawyers at bay — Mega Man is now Beck, Dr. Wily is now Dr. Blackwell, but aside from that there aren’t many major changes. And that’s just fine! Nobody plays Mega Man (or Mega Man imitators) for the story.
Mighty No. 9 is no technical showcase, but the game looks okay from a distance. Enemies and bosses are cleanly designed, each stage looks unique, and the game utilizes its splashes of color well. Things look considerably less passable when the camera zooms in on something. Beck and his fellow robots are inexpressive refuges from a PS2 game, with cut scenes, in particular, looking more like amateur hour. Characters don’t move their mouths when they talk, or any other body parts for that matter, as they simply stand around while text spools out on the bottom of the screen.
Ugly robots need the most love.
Voice acting is strictly of the “we got some people from the office to talk into a mic” variety, but at least the music is pretty solid. Not classic “Mega Man good” by any means, but it’s a fine accompaniment to the jumping and shooting. Basically, Mighty No. 9 looks and sounds like a low-budget indie game, which shouldn’t be the case considering the game is rolling in Kickstarter cash. Plenty of indie games have done more with a lot less.